A dressing room bust-up between Belgium players took place after Morocco defeat, say reports

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A verbal altercation broke out between three Belgium players after their World Cup defeat to Morocco, according to reports, while Romelu Lukaku had to pull them apart.

Goals from Romain Saiss and Zakaria Aboukhlal gave Morocco a deserved win against a lacklustre Belgium, who have struggled in the group stages of this winter’s World Cup.

Roberto Martinez’s side did secure a far-from-convincing win over Canada in their opening Group F game thanks to Michy Batshuayi, but questions continue to be raised over their performances.

And with their efforts being scrutinised on the pitch, reports suggest the harmony within Belgium’s 26-man squad is far from perfect.

Belgian publication RTL Sport suggest a verbal altercation took place between first-team players Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen and Eden Hazard after the defeat to Morocco.

Romelu Lukaku had to intervene to calm everything down, according to the report.

A crisis meeting was then held at their training centre with Roberto Martinez and executives, but things don’t stop there in terms of tensions inside the Belgium camp.

De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois haven’t spoken to each other for years for personal reasons.

In fact, French publication L’Equipe via RTL suggest Michy Batshuayi and Romelu Lukaku are not best friends either, while Eden Hazard and Leandro Trossard do not speak to each other.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Even before their defeat to Morocco, there was already tension between Jan Vertonghen and Kevin De Bruyne after the latter said Belgium have “no chance” of winning this winter’s World Cup because they are “too old”.

When asked about their chances at this winter’s World Cup in an interview with The Guardian, De Bruyne replied: “No chance, we’re too old.”

Later on in the interview, the Manchester City man was asked again about Belgium’s chances again. “I think our chance was 2018,” he said. “We have a good team, but it is ageing.

“We lost some key players. We have some good new players coming, but they are not at the level other players were in 2018. I see us more as outsiders.”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

After the Morocco game, Jan Vertonghen – who is the oldest player in the squad – appeared to take a dig at De Bruyne in his post-match interview.

“In the end we conceded two identical goals on the set piece, twice at the near post. Balls that should never go in,” the defender said after the game.

“The first time we got away with, the second time not anymore.

“There’s so much going through my mind right now, things I shouldn’t say in the open air. I don’t think we created any chances. Where did it go wrong?” the Anderlecht star said, criticising the team’s attack.

“We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?

“We have a lot of quality up front, but so does Morocco, and they came out better today. This is very frustrating.”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

SPORTbible has reached out to the Belgian FA for comment.

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